UCL Ear Institute


Collaboration with London Symphony Orchestra captures the emotions inspired by music

19 June 2024

A team from Professor Maria Chait’s lab at the UCL Ear Institute has joined forces with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) on an innovative demonstration that captures the brain and autonomic responses associated with listening to live music.

LSO collaboration

Dr Adele Simon and Dr Alex Billig from the Chait lab and the LSO team used electroencephalogram (EEG) technology to measure the response of a member of the audience as they listened to the orchestra playing ‘Jupiter’ from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. EEG measurements use electrodes on the scalp to detect electrical activity in the brain. The Planets is a widely performed seven-movement orchestral suite that is scored for a large orchestra. 

The team EEG to track brain activity and additional sensors to monitor heart rate and skin conductance. This enabled them to capture the nuances of the emotional journey that the music inspired in the participant. 

They then worked with design agencies Design Bridge and Partners and XK Studio, who used the data to create a film, ‘Always Moving’, that reflects the emotional power of music. 

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